I woke up dead.
Well, at least that's how I felt.
I felt no connection to anything. Life consisted of going through the motions...day in, day out...same ol' same ol'. I had been trying to let outside things determine my happiness and my spiritual fitness, but it wasn't working. I was so concerned about how to "do" life right that I wasn't living it at all. I knew I had to shake things up.
Ever feel like this?
If so, know that this is the beginning of being conscious of your spiritual journey. Your spiritual alarm clock is sounding!
I had been "unconscious" for so long that I really didn't know what I was doing. But I was open to anything, and whenever I felt that "something" tugging at me inside, I followed its guidance. I haunted those "New Age" bookstores that others had told me to avoid because they were "evil." The more I read, the more I craved. My spiritual appetite was ravenous!
I began to meditate, to pray, and to ask questions. I went within and uncovered my true self that had been buried under years of others "shoulding" on me and listening to them instead of myself.
I broke away from the confines of religion, especially the ones that told me I was going to hell if I did or didn't do this or that.
I felt connected. Transformed. And alive!
Here's what I've learned along the way...
There is no right or wrong way. We're all on the same journey; we're just taking different paths to get there. The God of my understanding is of the same essence as the God of your understanding, even if we relate in different ways.
There is no "normal" when it comes to spirituality. Our beliefs are unique to ourselves. We are each individual expressions of a Diverse Divine Being, and we are free to call that Being by whatever name we choose.
There's no need to follow the crowd. The differences around us allow us to mold our own journey into exactly what we want. What works for some may not work for me or for you, and that's okay. Be grateful for these differences; it's Spirit's creativity in action.
There's no need to compare journeys. Each journey is unique to the individual. Celebrate each part of it along the way. If something works for you on your journey, hold on to it, and if it doesn't, then let it go. It's not always going to be a smooth journey, so whatever happens, allow it to shape you in the best version of yourself.
I love having the freedom to express my spirituality in the way that I so choose, and I've learned much from the various wisdom traditions and spiritual practices that exist. They've served as the stepping stones in my journey.
In the words of Khalil Gibran, "I love you when yo bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit."
What have you learned along the way?